On May 25, 2020, George Perry Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd became unresponsive. Officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane participated in Floyd’s arrest, with Kueng holding Floyd’s back, Lane holding his legs, and Thao looking on and preventing intervention by an onlooker as he stood nearby.:6:24
The arrest was made after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market. Police said Floyd physically resisted arrest. Some media organizations commented that a security camera from a nearby business did not show Floyd resisting. The criminal complaint filed later said that based on body camera footage, Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe while standing outside the police car, resisted getting in the car and intentionally fell down. Several bystanders recorded the event on their smartphones, with one video showing Floyd repeating “Please”, “I can’t breathe“, “Mama”, and “Don’t kill me” being widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media.
 While knee-to-neck restraints are allowed in Minnesota under certain circumstances, Chauvin’s usage of the technique has been widely criticized by law enforcement experts as excessive. All four officers were fired the day after the incident.
Two autopsies of Floyd were conducted; both ruled that the manner of death was homicide. The autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found that Floyd died from a cardiac arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officers, noting significant conditions such as “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; and recent methamphetamine use”. An independent private autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family found that the “evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause” of Floyd’s death, with neck compression restricting blood and oxygen to the brain, while back compression restricted breathing.
The FBI is conducting a federal civil rights investigation at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is also investigating possible violations of Minnesota statutes. On May 29, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death, with Hennepin County attorney Michael O. Freeman saying he anticipated charges to be brought against the other three officers at the scene; no indictments or charges have been filed against the three officers as of June 1.
After Floyd’s death, demonstrations and protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area were initially peaceful on May 26, and later that day became violent as a police precinct and two stores were set on fire, and many stores were looted and damaged. Some demonstrators skirmished with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Additional protests developed in over 200 cities throughout all 50 states in the United States as well as internationally. Floyd’s death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner. Garner, also an unarmed black man, repeated “I can’t breathe” eleven times after being placed in a chokehold by a New York police officer during an arrest in Staten Island, New York.[34